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The Shaping Spaces Group thought this was great information about going Solar and wanted to share, Enjoy.

Ready Set, Go Solar, Los Angles! Part II: Are You Right for Solar?

October 12, 2009 Written by Your Daily Thread Team

solarhouseIn my last post on YDT, I talked about Solar Economics 101 and how solar power has finally become affordable.

But as much as I love solar and want every home to have it, I gotta be honest: It’s not right for everyone. So how do you know if your home (and budget) are right for solar? Here are my 7 key tips.

1) Sun good. Trees bad. Obviously, you’re going to want as much sun on your roof or back yard as possible. Shady trees above your roof line need to be cut down or cut back.

2) Have a Young Roof. You should at least have half the warranty left on your roof’s asphalt shingles. If you’ve been getting a lot of leaks, then it may be time to go solar and get a new roof, but of course that will add to the cost.

3) Electrical wiring up to current codes. Mostly this applies to old homes, but some homes will need to upgrade their wiring and fuse box.  No upgrade? No solar. It’s a safety issue.

4) Ideally, your roof should be oriented South, South West, or South East, or West. If it faces North, check your garage. You might also have room in the back yard.

5) $100. That’s the minimum monthly electric bill you need to make solar financially worthwhile. (Remember, if your utility is LADWP, you’re billed for water too, so just look at the electric cost of your bill.) If your electric portion is less than $100 a month, you can still go solar, but just know the payback time will be longer.

6) Home equity. The upfront cost might be 10 or 20 grand, depending on your electricity needs. The good news is that the monthly cost of a home equity loan is often LESS than your current electric bill without solar.

7) Love the Tax Man. If you decide to go solar, it’s good to owe taxes on April 15th. Why would I say that? Because in addition to your solar rebate from Los Angeles, Uncle Sam gives you another bonus: A 30% tax credit. So, say your system costs 12 large after the L.A. rebate. You basically now have an IRS gift card for $3,600. Sadly, you can’t use it to go shopping on YDT. You must use that credit towards paying your taxes on April 15th, and if you owe less than $3,600? The IRS doesn’t send you a refund check. Instead, you use the left over credit towards your next year’s taxes. Check with your tax person about the details, please. Brain hurt when me talk taxes. Must end post now.

Solar Power RocksIn part 3, we’ll get into the Do’s and Don’ts of finding a good installer. Any questions before then, there’s more great info on SolarPowerRocks.com.

This series is brought to you by Tor Valenza aka “Solar Fred.” Learn more about Tor at www.solarpowerrocks.com and on twitter @solarfred

For tips about going green contact your local Green Irene Eco-Consultant at www.greenirene.com/GriffinLA

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